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Personal injury cases are described as claims filed by an individual who was injured, caused to be injured, or otherwise suffered some kind of loss as the result of another party's faulty conduct. Personal injury cases can include claims resulting from medical malpractice, accidents at work and on the road, nursing home abuse and negligence, defective products, and faulty premises.
A personal injury case usually involves three parties: the plaintiff (the one filing the case), the defendant (the person being sued), and the insurance company.
Personal Injury Cases: The Basics
Personal injury cases are often settled out of court. For instance, if your case is not severe enough to drag on for several years, it's possible that you may be able to settle outside of court. If this is the case, then you are required to get the settlement done within the time limit set for your state or locality before taking any action against a third party.
In general, you have a two-year timeframe from the date of the accident or injury to sue for your personal injury damages. Therefore, if you have filed a claim with the court and settled out of court within the first year, then this may make it impossible for you to file another lawsuit if something goes wrong - for instance: you get more injured than you were at the time of your settlement.
But don't worry, it is also possible for you to file another lawsuit outside of the 2-year deadline if you are unable to settle within that time frame. As long as the new lawsuit comes less than 2 years after the date of injury this would be considered fair game - the reason being that it generally takes time for a person to realize the full extent of his or her injuries.
It is vital to note that this only applies if you have not already filed your claim with the court, or been involved in any sort of settlement or mediation proceedings. If you have been through either of those processes already, then you are unable to file any further lawsuits.
Can I Still Sue After Settlement?
Yes, you can still sue after you have settled your personal injury case. However, the time limit set for suing a personal injury case varies from state to state. In some states, the time limit is three years while in others it is two years. If you feel that you have a valid claim despite having already settled a personal injury case, hiring an attorney to represent you is the best course of action. In some states, the time limit set for suing a personal injury case begins from the date of your accident. In other states, it is from the last incident related to your injuries. For example, if you were involved in an accident but did not sustain any injuries and then several years later you were hit by a car while riding your bike, the time limit for your personal injury case would begin from the date of your bike accident.
In some instances, it is important to be aware of whether or not you signed a liability waiver which is a preventative measure used to stop future claims from being filed and returning back to court. Therefore, if you did not then there are grounds to reopen the case.
So, if you were injured and settled outside of the 2-year time frame but something has changed and made your injuries worse since then, you will need to start another lawsuit in order to get the compensation you deserve. Now it is important to note that having a full understanding of this aspect of personal injury claims can be crucial to your case.
Another important piece of information to note is if there was any type of settlement made as part of your personal injury claim, this does not mean that all options are off the table. It simply means that you are unable to file for any additional damages regardless of the circumstances.
So, if you have settled your personal injury case less than two years ago or after this time period but something has changed since then, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney in order to determine whether or not filing a new lawsuit is possible.
How Can An Attorney Help?
You should also be aware that in some states if you miss the legal window set for suing a personal injury case, you will no longer have the right to pursue compensation. If you were injured during an accident and are considering filing a lawsuit, hiring a personal injury lawyer is your best option.
An experienced personal injury attorney is an expert in this type of litigation and will provide advice on what you should do next, depending on your specific circumstances. They will be able to go over the details of your case and determine whether or not you have a valid claim in light of the time limit set for suing a personal injury case. Your attorney will also be able to give you legal advice on the best course of action so that you can avoid missing the legal window. This is important since missing the legal window could mean that you forfeit your right to receive compensation, regardless of how valid a claim you may have.
Contact The Fitzpatrick Firm, Personal Injury Attorney
Did you just find out that you settled for compensation that was less than what you actually deserved? If you are unsure of how to file a claim or if you have already settled your case, feel free to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at 678-607-5550 to book a free consultation.